Red Sox catchers who have hit over .240 over the last 50 years

by Bill Chuck on November 10, 2012

The Boston Red Sox and backup catcher David Ross have reached agreement on a $6.2 million two-year contract. Ross has 11 years in the majors (including briefly with Boston – 8 games in 2008). A career backup, he has appeared in only 658 games, and appeared in 227 games in the last four seasons with the Atlanta Braves behind Brian McCann. Ross also has played for the Dodgers, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Cincinnati.

In 2012, Ross batted .256 with nine home runs and 23 RBI in 196 AB.

The addition of Ross probably means that the Sox will move at least one of their barely mediocre catchers, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and/or Ryan Lavarnway with the arbitration eligible Salty the most likely. As the primary catcher, Saltalamacchia did hit 25 homers last seasons but managed to drove home only 59 runs with his .222 average. A switch-hitter, Saltalamacchia hit .230 with 24 homers from the left side of the plate but as a righty he only hit .170 with just six RBI in 57 PA.

As a player, special assistant Jason Varitek was well respected, but truth be told it had been years since he was a threat at the plate and it has been awhile since the Red Sox have had an impact bat behind plate.

Here are the Red Sox catchers with at least 350 plate appearances (90% as a catcher) who have hit over .240 the last 50 seasons.

Rk Player BA Year AB R H HR RBI OPS
1 Carlton Fisk .315 1977 536 106 169 26 102 .922
2 Jason Varitek .296 2004 463 67 137 18 73 .872
3 Rich Gedman .295 1985 498 66 147 18 80 .846
4 Carlton Fisk .289 1980 478 73 138 18 62 .819
5 Carlton Fisk .284 1978 571 94 162 20 88 .841
6 Jason Varitek .281 2005 470 70 132 22 70 .856
7 Scott Hatteberg .277 1997 350 46 97 10 44 .788
8 Scott Hatteberg .276 1998 359 46 99 12 43 .804
9 Jason Varitek .273 2003 451 63 123 25 85 .863
10 Mike Stanley .270 1996 397 73 107 24 69 .889
11 Jason Varitek .269 1999 483 70 130 20 76 .813
12 Rich Gedman .269 1984 449 54 121 24 72 .818
13 Jason Varitek .266 2002 467 58 124 10 61 .724
14 Tony Pena .263 1990 491 62 129 7 56 .670
15 Rich Gedman .258 1986 462 49 119 16 65 .739
16 Jason Varitek .255 2007 435 57 111 17 68 .787
17 Carlton Fisk .255 1976 487 76 124 17 58 .751
18 Jason Varitek .248 2000 448 55 111 10 65 .730
19 Carlton Fisk .246 1973 508 65 125 26 71 .750
20 Tony Pena .241 1992 410 39 99 1 38 .589
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/10/2012.

While this addition of a back-up catcher is a good one, the Red Sox need to sign Cody Ross more than David Ross.


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